This, I Believe: A Senior Sendoff

I was here- I lived, I loved; it was more than I thought it would be.


Manu Kondapi, Campus Life Editor

36 weeks down. And now the inevitable approach of graduation, followed by a grandiose summer, and the subsequent scattering of 79 seniors in the fall to “begin” our lives nationwide. And how quickly this day has come upon us.

I adored high school, I really did. In retrospect, I’ve grown so much (if only that translated to my physical stature, as well), and all those cliché phrases about having the time of your life- well, let me just say, they have some merit. Coincidentally, Cantabile’s final performance of the year featured “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing”, and I was absolutely thrilled about the song choice. It does speak volumes about my own high school experience, and to the extent to which I am so thankful for my years at Horizon.

An old friend came up to me after our choir concert on Tuesday and exclaimed, “Manu, do you do everything at Horizon?” I looked at him confused, and he informed me that he’d been to the NHS induction ceremony, the drama production, and this concert in the past two months, and that I’d spoken at all of them. I’d never thought of it that way, and after much consideration, I came across this realization: I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it wasn’t for all that Horizon has done for me.

I’ve been so comfortable in these hallways, smiling at everyone I pass by, yelling song lyrics with my friends, and being well acquainted with nearly everyone, so as not to worry about what other people think. Horizon focuses so strongly on community, and it’s been such a joy to be enveloped in such love and belief throughout my twelve years here. I am most thankful to Horizon for giving me immense confidence in myself- because of my experiences here, I’m not afraid to tackle challenges, to speak publicly, or to stand up for myself. This confidence is central to my identity and I don’t know where I would be without it.

Perhaps my favorite assignment was back in freshman year- Mr. Wolfe asked all of us to write about a belief- the accumulation of work from the semester past, we all struggled to come up with something that meant a great deal to us. This, I believe. Looking back, I feel as though that should have been my entire statement. I don’t need to add what that belief is in, because Horizon has taught me exactly that: to believe- in myself, in others, and in the immense possibilities that the future holds.


I’m most worried about leaving myself behind. I’ve spent the past 12 years creating and discovering a person that I’ve been happy with, and I fear that I may never play that role again. College will be different, and what if I am unable to establish myself in this same niche? I know I’m not alone in this- there are many of us who have spent our childhoods growing up within Horizon’s walls. We don’t know another school, another community, so the idea of giving up the comfort of the home we know and the person we’ve been is both scary and exciting. However, my fear subsides at the same time, because I know who I am. Because of Horizon, I have found a part of myself. Because of Horizon, I have a better idea of what I want to do, who I want to be.

I am lucky to be a Horizonite. I am lucky to have experienced such kindness, such happiness, and such love throughout my childhood. And I will forever be proud of my relation to this school- so full of heart, of hope, and of uniquity. And for that, I am forever thankful.

This, I believe.

-Manu Kondapi